At A Glance
The Vegas is now the longest running kite in the North Line up by some margin. First seen in late 2004 it was originally a more mellow freeride version of the very popular Rhino. But as the Rhino changed shape over the years the Vegas didn’t. It remained a C-Kite with its boots firmly tipped towards the freestyle market as the Rhino became a more freeride machine before it was consigned to the history books. These days the Vegas is a far cry from it’s first sibling, the similarities are there but you’d need to look for them pretty hard if you put the two kites next to each other. For 2012 the Vegas is still a thoroughbred C kite with a 5th line set up. But North have offered tuning in the form of line set up to mellow the kite for the less experienced riders out there. Allowing you to tune up the kite as you improve your riding. As the 2011 kite was so popular there are just very subtle changes this year to the design. The graphics as usual though are far from subtle!
The North Trust bar has been a favourite of many riders for some time and this year sees it return. While the features all look familiar the bar has been completely redesigned for 2012 and new bar ends coupled with a more ergonomic grip make it really comfortable in the hands. The depower is now dealt with using a smaller Vario Cleat above the bar, it is easy to operate and never feels too far away. There is the same stopper ball system that gives enough pressure to hold the bar in place but is easy to push away in a hurry and of course the Iron Heart IV makes a return to take car of things in terms of safety release.
In The Air
The Vegas certainly looks the part, those graphics might look hideous on paper, but once in the sky above your head perspective seems to add to the spectacle… It’s been a little while since I have flown a Vegas and it was a welcome return to an old friend. I’ve flown the previous incarnations a fair bit and always enjoyed them for their forgiving, yet high performance feel. If you know how to fly the kite, you can really get the maximum out of it. Huge airs, loads of pop, aggressive loops, it is all there waiting for you to unlock it. Throttle back a little and ride it as a freeride machine and the kite is stable, well behaved and inspires confidence. You don’t ever feel like it is just a step away from smashing you into small pieces like some C kites we have flown in the past. This feeling can of course be further enhanced with the three trim set-ups on offer on the kite. In its mellow mode it really is rather tame, but ramp up the pigtails and the fun begins. Upwind is really impressive and the top end is fantastic. The low end is OK, but like all C Kites it suffers from a lack of range compared to the flatter bridled kites on the market.
A thoroughbred freestyle machine that through the beauty of tuning can be tamed for the more intermediate rider looking for a freestyle stepping stone. The usual impeccable North build quality is ever present and the finish on the kite is excellent, as is the bar.
Not much to complain about really with the Vegas, you will be surprised at its versatility…
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The Vegas is a freestyle machine with a tame side you can tap into at will. It performs excellently as you would expect from a kite of this pedigree with a huge heritage!
This review was in Issue 30 of IKSURFMAG.
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By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!